The Qadisha valley is one of the most important early Christian monastic settlements in the world. Its monasteries, many of which are of a great age, stand in dramatic positions in a rugged landscape. Nearby are the remains of the great forest of cedars of Lebanon, highly prized in antiquity for the construction of great religious buildings.
Bsharri is the town of the only remaining and preserved original Cedars of God, and is the birthplace of the famous poet, painter and sculptor Khalil Gibran who now has a museum in the town to honour him. Moreover, Bsharri is home to the oldest skiing area, the Cedars Ski Resort, and to Lebanon’s first ski lift, built in 1953. The resort is about a two-hour drive and 130 km from Beirut. Qurnat as Sawdā Mountain in Bsharri is the highest peak in the Levant, at 3,088 meters above sea level.
Cedars of God
The Cedars of God, Lebanon, are one of the last vestiges of the extensive forests of the Lebanon cedar that anciently thrived across Mount Lebanon. The Phoenicians, Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Romans, Arabs, and Turks used their timber. The Egyptians valued their timber for shipbuilding, and in the Ottoman Empire their timber was used to construct railways.